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Ancient Man and His First Civilizations

Letter by Burnaburiash, king of Karduniash

 To Naphkhururia [1], king of Egypt, thus speaks Burnaburiash, king of Karduniash [2], your brother: I am well. May the well-being reign over you, your house, your women, your children, your land, your great ones, your horses, your chariots.

   

 When my father and your father had dealings in good friendship, they sent each other beautiful presents, and nothing they refused. Now, my brother has sent me only two mines [3] of gold. But this is a very small amount: send, then, as much as your father did! And if you have little (gold), send half of what your father sent! Why have you sent me only two mines of gold? My work in the houses of the Gods is abundant, and now I have begun an undertaking: Send much gold! And you, whatever do you need from my land, write and it will be sent to you.
   

At the time of Kurigalzu, my father, the Kinahi [4] went to him in the following terms: the borders of the country... we want to pass to the other side, and join you. My father gave them the following answer: Forget the idea of dealing with me! I will not declare myself against my brother, the king of Egypt, nor will I treat with someone else! Should I not rather plunder you? He is my ally.
   

My father committed no acts against your father.
Now (with respect to this): The Assyrians, vassals of mine, I have not sent to you, as they claim. Why have they been received in your land? If I am dear to you, do not let them conclude any business. May they return here with empty hands! As a gift, I send you three mines of beautiful lapis lazuli and five teams of horses for five wooden chariots.

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 [1]     Naphkhururia: Akhenaten Nefer-khepru-re
 [2]     Babylon
 [3]     one mine = ca. half a kilogramme
 [4]     Canaanites